The spice saffron is the vermilion stigmas, derived from the flower of crocus sativus, which when dried up is prepared to use. Saffron has a very rich history. It dates back to ancient Iran and later it spread to other countries. Greece, India, Turkey and China are some of Iran’s new competitors in production and trade of saffron. However Iran is still the biggest producer of saffron and with owning 90% of the world’s production.
Khorasan Province is the main part of Iran in growing saffron. However, nowadays other parts of Iran like Fars, Kerman, Lorestan, and East Azerbaijan have started to produce saffron as well. 150 flowers are needed in order to extract 5 grams of stigmas which gives us 1 gram of dried and usable saffron spice. Since harvesting saffron needs extremely hard work, it’s a precious and expensive spice. That is why saffron deserves to be called , the Red Gold.
It mostly grows in hot and dry climates, but the most important element in growing saffron is the soil. Heavy clay soil must be avoided at all costs and it must be well drained before we can grow saffron in it. A neutral clay-calcareous or silty soil is the ideal type of land for saffron. That is why saffron is called “desert’s gold” as well.
Saffron has been used as a dye agent for fabrics and clothes as well as an element in producing cosmetics and perfumery. It also has many medical and food intakes. People have been using saffron in foods and drinks, due to its specific flavor and delicate yellow-red color.
Saffron also is used in medicine. It is anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and a joyful substance, saffron is also used in treating cold and cough. It has a warm nature or as the Iranians say, it has “tab-e garm”. That means when you use it, you feel a pleasing warm sense inside your whole body, which can treat some diseases.
If you are looking to buy high quality saffron directly from the farmers you might want to check Keshmoon out.